McLennan County commissioner decides to use inmates to fix up local communities

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 9:11am

More inmates out working in the community could benefit taxpayers, or at least that’s what county officials anticipate.

A decision, made by Precinct Four County Commissioner, Ben Perry, will utilize the precinct’s McLennan County Prisoner Utilization Program, or MCPUPS crew, to clean and fix up areas around local municipalities in McLennan County.

As it stands now, five inmates go out into the community, as a part of the MCPUPS crew, working alongside the road and bridge crews. It’s part of a rewards system for their good behavior. While working in the community, these inmates help the road and bridge crews with brush removal, litter abatement, minor road patching, and other similar tasks.

“Anything that our road and bridge crew does where these fellas can help, they’ve been very beneficial to us,” said Perry.

With the start of spring coming on March 20, the road and bridge crews will switch from their eight hour, five day work week to a four day, 10 hour work week. Instead of shadowing that schedule, the inmates will instead stick to their eight hour days. When the road and bridge crews are off on Fridays, the inmates will go around municipalities in precinct four to pick up litter, remove brush, and other tasks.

Municipalities, such as Hewitt, Woodway, McGregor, Crawford, and China Springs can request that the inmates come to their area and utilize the free services.

Perry says this system is an excellent way for tax payers to see their money at work.

“We feel this is an opportunity to allow them to receive benefit for those tax dollars they pay to the county, by allowing them to use these inmates for the same type of activities that they perform on a daily basis,” said Perry.

Perry says Precinct Three Commissioner, Will Jones, is looking into doing a similar type of system. These days of service to local municipalities will last through daylight savings, until time falls back in November.

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